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May 21st, 2014
A Wee Question…
by Bruce |
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I’ve said this before, much to the distress of some liberal/progressive friends, but here it is again: I have no problem with private gun ownership, I see it as an eminently democratic right, IMO the second amendment does confer a right to individual Americans to own guns, and yes as a matter of fact I own a few myself. And I take responsibility for owning them seriously as I do my automobile. I obey the laws. I concern myself with safety. And I have nothing but contempt for people who use them recklessly, even if they’re not actually breaking the law. That goes for guns, automobiles…anything people use that can do harm to other people.
I’m an American liberal. I believe that public spaces convey public obligations. From respect for the environment to seemingly mundane day-to-day things like traffic safety, the common public spaces we share together are a mutual responsibility…and at minimum that means they are safe to use. Or to put it another way, the common ground that is too dangerous to occupy is more properly called a Battlefield. The last time the shared common spaces of Americans became battlefields we called it a Civil War and it killed more Americans than all our other wars put together.
As a liberal I go even further and insist that even the private workplaces must be at minimum safe to occupy too, since we all need to work to earn a living. I grant that some occupations are very dangerous but also very necessary for the good of all. That said, working in a fast food restaurant, let alone eating in one, does not strike me as one of those occupations.
So I hear Chipotle wants customers to not bring their guns inside their restaurants. So while I’m shrugging my shoulders and and thinking to myself, so much so reasonable, and moving on apparently other people are bursting veins and threatening boycotts.
What the hell is wrong with you? Just…what the hell is wrong with you? No…Seriously. What the hell is wrong with you?
If Chipotle said they wanted gays to stay out of their restaurants because Jesus! you’d be dog piling on it like you did Chick-fil-A. You’re bellyaching that same-sex marriage is going to destroy civilization….
…Does This Fucking Look Like Civilization To You!
They say guns don’t kill people, people do. And that’s true. It’s always the person. The idol is always false. We give meaning to our material objects, they don’t give meaning to us. A weapon, any weapon, finely, skillfully, beautifully made, by a master craftsman, is a noble thing. Until the moment a runt gets their hands on it. Because runts don’t build civilizations, they tear them down so they don’t have to know what runts they are. But let it be said that, unlike those two, not all runts look like they’ve spent their entire lives in mom’s basement. These guys for instance, bear a heavy responsibility for the decay of American society…
All these voices on the right bellyaching about Morals and Traditional Values, and Social Decay and really they don’t give a good goddamn about any of it. None of it at all. They get up on their stages in their suits and ties and slicked down hair and they wave the flag and talk about law and order and it’s all bullshit. Behold the new minutemen at the battle of Chipotle! I have a question…
Thank you NRA for turning a pastime that brought pleasure and even taught a few values to thousands of Americans into an idol for anti-government troglodytes. Thank you for turning the basic democratic right to own your own gun into a totem for ignorance and hate…the very things that kill democracy. You don’t love this country. You don’t even love guns. What you love is power. You loath the peace and prosperity and brighter future Americans have always sought, if it means everyone can have a share of it too. You’d rather it all came crashing down into anarchy and chaos if it means everyone can dream the American dream too, not just powerful white men.
April 5th, 2014
Can’t We All Just Get Along…You Miserable Child Molesting Perverts?
by Bruce |
Via Dan Savage this morning, I get a link to this excellent article by Mark Joseph Stern over at Slate…
The view that Eich was just expressing his opposition to marriage equality, a common stance at the time, strikes me as naive. Because Prop 8 is now dead, and because its passage was largely overshadowed by President Barack Obama’s election victory, it’s easy to forget the vicious tactics of the pro-Prop 8 campaign. Or, I should say, it’s easy to forget them if you’re not gay—because almost every gay person I know remembers the passage of Prop 8 as the most traumatic and degrading anti-gay event in recent American history.
(Emphasis mine) On the one hand, you can look at this and say the bigots are merely counting on the short memory of the American voter. But it’s more likely that Eich and his comrades in arms didn’t figure that the wounds over that fight would still be so fresh in the minds of the gay community, because after all they’re homosexuals and homosexuals don’t have normal feelings like the rest of us. When you hear them babbling about political correctness that’s not them attempting to trivialize our feelings about what they did to us, it’s them telling everyone they can’t see the people for the homosexuals. When you run a multimillion dollar smear campaign and you don’t expect the objects of that campaign to remember what you did to them, it’s because you don’t think the people you smeared have any human feelings at all, or you simply can’t be bothered to care.
Stern’s Slate article helpfully refreshes the public’s memory of what kind of campaign the Proposition 8 folks ran by showing everyone the ads they used to get people to vote yes. Look at them and tell me it’s time for gay people to forgive big money donors like Eich and put it all behinds us…
The tactics used by pro-Prop 8 campaigners were not merely homophobic. They were laser-focused to exploit Californians’ deepest and most irrational fears about gay people, indoctrinating an entire state with cruelly anti-gay propaganda. Early on, Prop 8’s supporters decided to focus their campaign primarily on children, stoking parents’ fears about gay people brainwashing their kids with pro-gay messages or, implicitly, turning their children gay.
Oh but it was a tad more than that. The eternal trope of the bigots is that to be gay is to be a child molester. You’re gay because you were molested and now you’re out to turn other kids gay by molesting them. That’s what homosexuals are, that’s what homosexuals do. Homosexuals don’t reproduce, they recruit… That’s what was being dog whistled in Each And Every Proposition 8 Ad. And Brendan Eich bought a thousand dollar share in that ad campaign.
And when his one-grand contribution came back to haunt him, instead of even making a minimal effort to distance himself from that massive, slick, professional The Gays Are After Your Children smear campaign he just clammed up and said it was his personal business. Well, when you throw a multi-million dollar smear campaign at me and thousands like me, designed Specifically to arouse the most primitive fears adults could have about their children and make us a target for violent passions…well…that’s my personal business too.
In his one and only public statement about the affair, Eich bellyached…
There is no point in talking with the people who are baiting, ranting, and hurling four-letter abuse. Personal hatred conveyed through curse words is neither rational nor charitable, and strong feelings on any side of an issue do not justify it.
This is such a hoot. The Gays Are Coming For Your Children message is Exactly what you trot out when you Don’t want a rational discussion, you just want to push people’s buttons.
Forgive and forget? At least say you’re sorry. Not that you’re sorry we got angry, not that you’re sorry we felt hurt, but that what you did was wrong. And if that’s too much to ask of you then, let’s face it, you’re still in the fight aren’t you…you’re still waiting for your next chance to arouse the old hatreds, the mindless passions, against me and other’s like me, and what you want isn’t for me to put it all behind me and let’s have a fresh start and all be fellow Americans again, but for me and others like me to let our guard back down so you can kick us in the face again.
What happened in California in the summer and fall of 2008 will go down in history in the annals of anti-minority hate mongering. Gay people have been brutalized, jailed, medicated, lobotomized, tortured, burned at the stake, beaten to death, murdered, for so terribly, terribly long, all the way back to when the first scribe wrote that god hates fags in what was to eventually become the bible. And the lies spread by the Proposition 8 campaign have been the tools by which hate has traditionally excused itself, and incited even more hate. They say that history is written by the victors, but the history written in blood never forgets. If you don’t want your name written in the roll call of hate, the time to make amends is always now, not tomorrow, not some day.
January 5th, 2014
Pitchforks And Torches Will Be Handed Out After Today’s Prayer Breakfast…
by Bruce |
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“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats…That’s a lie. That’s an absolute lie [that the federal government’s ruling overrules Utah’s laws]. We have a right to raise our kids without homosexuals being part of the Boy Scouts, the schools and teachers and doing everything. They can be all that, but don’t shove your agenda down my kid’s throat. We have a right to raise our kids how we want not how you want.”
The homosexuals. The homosexuals. The homosexuals. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. Shoving themselves down their throats.
Does this “lawman” realize that he’s inciting the sort of passions that get gay people beaten and killed? Oh…probably…
Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream…
January 2nd, 2014
That Fine Line Between Love And Hate And How To Cross It
by Bruce |
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I was approaching the U.S. Supreme Court building across from the Capital, a year after their awful decision in Hardwick v. Bowers upholding the sodomy laws. For the first time I think ever, I was going to a demonstration not to be the detached photojournalist, but to actually count myself as a participant. And to reenforce that I’d not brought any of my cameras (a decision I now regret, but so it goes). I’d arrived via the subway, got off at Union Station and was walking across Constitution Avenue when I noticed there was a police presence already forming up. As I walked past a group of them I heard one policeman, an older black gentleman, saying to his companions, “I don’t have no trouble with the older faggots…”
It struck me as a grim echo from another time and the bitter mockery of it made my head spin. Yes, yes…nobody has any trouble with the ones that know their place.
This came across my news stream shortly after U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s anti-gay constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the right to marry…
Utah weighs impact of ruling allowing gay marriage
While Utah’s attorney general strategizes an appeal of the ruling and Mormons take a softer approach in opposing gay marriage, others in the traditionally conservative state predict broader acceptance of the practice nationwide.
A quote in this leaped out at me…
For Hunt, 44, a bellhop at a swank downtown hotel a few blocks from the LDS church’s sacred Temple Square, the days have been spent discussing the ruling’s impact with family and fellow Mormons.
“Is it the end of the world? No,” he said, shivering in the 15-degree cold. “In the end, we have a message to the gay and lesbian people who live among us — we don’t hate you, it’s nothing like that. But we believe what we believe. And our conviction is strong.”
We don’t hate you… No dear, of course you don’t. As long as we stay in our place. Bet you don’t have no trouble with the older faggots either.
How often I heard this crap back when King and Malcolm X were telling white folk they weren’t shining shoes anymore. We don’t hate them coloreds, they’re fine people…happy cotton pickers…dance with a lot of rhythm don’t they? We don’t hate women either. How could you say I hate women…my god I married a woman…she’s a nice little homemaker…great in the kitchen…wouldn’t want her running a business though…that’s man’s work.
It’s disingenuous self serving sanctimony. Sure you don’t hate Them. You don’t hate Them as long as They know Their place and stay in it. It’s when They won’t stay in Their place that the hate starts happening. Torrents of it.
Ever wonder at the passions you see suddenly snap out of a bigot when they’re forced to…you know…behave like a bigot? It is because now they have to see what monsters they really are deep down inside. You made me do this to you…I hate you for making me do this to you…for making me see what kind of person I really am…
December 10th, 2013
Yes Actually, Religious Freedom Means You Have To Treat All Your Customers Equally
by Bruce |
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Another day, another Fox News martyr in the homosexual war on Christians…
The first civil rights laws, so I hear, were passed not to protect black people or red or yellow people, but to protect Irish Catholics in New York from the religious passions of their protestant neighbors. And in point of fact, religious freedom is only possible where government does not take sides in religious disputes and where the rule of law protects minorities from the hostility of others, whether or not that hostility is motivated by religious passions.
Jack Phillips is not a martyr, he is a bigot attacking the rule of law because it grants people he loathes a little human dignity. Okay…fine…but in the eyes of the law he can be no different from a bar owner who would like very much to keep selling beer to teenagers because it makes him money, and who regards laws against selling alcohol to minors as an infringement on his freedom to do business as he pleases without regard to the consequences to the rest of the community. The law does not, can not, care what the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips are, only whether as a businessman he’s abiding by the same rules everyone else has to live by, or whether he’s a greedy predator, caring not whether he tears his community apart in the process of making a buck, just so he can pick through and live quite nicely off the wreckage.
October 22nd, 2013
Today In Connect The Dots…
by Bruce |
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This came across my Twitter stream just now…
@ThePlumLineGS: “WaPo poll shows that protected House Rs, while safe themselves, are doing huge damage to GOP’s nat’l appeal”
He links to this article of his on the Washington Post site…
Now…perhaps you’ve read those stories that started appearing right after the shutdown ended, about various Tea Party groups agitating for a repeal of the 17th Amendment. That’s the one that overrules prior clauses of the Constitution by which senators were elected by the state legislatures. Nowadays they’re all elected by statewide popular vote. That’s a problem for the extreme fanatical right. Here’s why: Gerrymandering only gets you wins in local elections. So in red states the hard right can dominate the legislatures and in congress they can get enough people in safely gerrymandered far right districts to make it difficult to do anything in that one branch. Batshit crazy tea party representatives in the house as we have seen, can wreak havoc without a care because their seats are safe because they only have to answer to their batshit crazy voters in that one gerrymandered district. But in statewide or nationwide elections you’re screwed. And especially so if you’re pissing off everyone outside of your little gerrymandered districts.
But repealing the 17th amendment would allow those little gerrymandered districts to capture the Senate, by way of control of their state legislatures. Or at least enough of the senate to insure control by filibuster indefinitely.
And take note, they’ve been making this move on the Electoral College too, with propositions in some states to give all that state’s electors to whoever wins the most Districts not to whoever wins the popular vote.
October 14th, 2013
What Won’t They Think Of Next?
by Bruce |
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Via Paul Constant over at SLOG…
Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you the Sarah Palin Portable Teleprompter…
@rubycramer: “Sarah Palin’s note to herself yesterday
(captured by the @AP): “Leader not tweeter”
Constant adds that the photo “…tells so many stories, about authenticity, about hypocrisy, about idiocy.” Yes, and so did the confederate battle flags flying in front of the White House, and the protestors mocking the race of the White House police. You hear them say they want to take back their country. But this was never their country. That was settled at Appomattox in the parlor of a house owned by Mr. Wilmer McLean on the afternoon of April 9, 1865.
October 12th, 2013
by Bruce |
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This came across my Facebook stream just now…
Big tax cuts for the rich and big business, two wars on the card, and now they’re bellyaching about paying for it. But no. They’re bellyaching that the democrats won’t let them make the poor, the sick, the elderly and the unemployed pay for it.
October 2nd, 2013
I’ll Take ‘Who Poisoned The Well’ For $1000 Alex…
by Bruce |
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This, from Der Spiegel this morning…
“What Washington currently offers up is a spectacle, but one in which the spectators feel more like crying,” writes the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.”Because Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, Congress and president could not agree on a stop-gap budget, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were sent on involuntary leave and many agencies were forced to shut down,” continues the editorial. “The main actors in this dispute, which brings together many factors, both ideological and political, took a huge risk and, unhindered, proceeded to validate everyone who ever accused the political establishment in Washington of being rotten to the core — by driving the world power into a budgetary state of emergency. The public is left wondering how things could have been allowed to get to this point and why there is so much poison in the system.“
(Emphasis mine…) Poison in the system…did you ask…?
I became an American citizen only so I could own some U.S. TV stations…
September 10th, 2013
Please…Not The Briar Patch!
by Bruce |
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Think Progress headline this morning…
Florida can prosecute George Zimmerman even if his wife doesn’t press charge
Sure could. Just like the last time they prosecuted him. I’ll bet he’s quaking in his boots at the prospect. They’re birds of a feather with that resentful angry thug and you don’t seriously want your soul brother going to jail just because he waved a gun at his spouse, or killed an unarmed kid who’d just gone out for some snacks.
[Added some text for clarity of meaning…]
July 18th, 2013
A Wee Correction
by Bruce |
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“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right of white people.” -NRA Executive Director Chris Cox
Fixed it for you Chris. You’re welcome.
by Bruce |
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Something that needs to be understood about this notion that his wearing a hoodie meant Trayvon Martin’s was a thug or a thug wannabe, is if young black men started wearing bow ties they’d be calling bow ties thugware. And all the nice people living in those gated communities would be telling each other that it’s the bow ties, not the color of their skin, that makes them thugs.
July 13th, 2013
The Vigilante It Is…
by Bruce |
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Zimmerman walks, which is the outcome we should all have expected from Florida, but still…
I was born in the early 50’s and spent most of my grade school years in the 1960s. During that time, probably largely due to the homosexual panics of the 1950s, I got tons of warnings in and out of school about being followed by strange men and how I shouldn’t let them get too close and needed to fight like hell if one of them tried to grab me off the street because I might never be seen again. Maybe they teach kids differently these days, but one of the most striking things to me in this whole episode is Zimmerman could stalk a teenage boy and get away with shooting him dead by claiming that he was mortally afraid of him and people keep saying with pious straight faces that Martin shouldn’t have fought back and because he did Zimmerman was justified in killing him and his race has nothing to do with that.
Seriously. Who tells teenage boys to just do whatever the strange man with a gun tells them to do and everything will be all right? I’m not trying to be snarky here. If you subtract Martin’s race from this, then all the people saying that Martin caused his own death by fighting back are not making sense. That Martin, if (If) he took a swing at Zimmerman, did because he was afraid is obvious. Unless you think that young black men don’t need any reason to try and kill someone with their bare hands because they’re all just animals really.
July 11th, 2013
The Vigilante Or Civilization…Pick One
by Bruce |
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The facts show that George Zimmerman armed himself with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets and ended up killing an unarmed teenager who was just out buying some snacks. How that happened is disputed but to me it’s obvious that when you strap on a gun, go looking for trouble and end up stalking and killing an unarmed 17 year old, you’ve done something wrong.
Digby goes on to say “To me, the carrying of that gun morally requires that he be held liable in some way for the unarmed Trayvon’s death”, but there is where I often part company with my fellow liberals on the issue of guns: I am fine with the concept that you have a right to own a gun and defend yourself with it. In fact, I consider that right to be a fundamentally democratic thing.
What isn’t are things like vigilantism and racism. These are poison. They are poison to the person, they are poison to the nation. This case is positively dripping with racism that nobody in the corporate news media wants to look closely at, because we’re all supposed to be beyond all that now. Except we’re not. Zimmerman’s suspicion and fear of Martin only makes sense in the context of Martin’s race, his sex, and his age. There is literally nothing else there but those three things. Zimmerman stalked that kid because of those three things, and his rational for killing an unarmed teenage boy who was out buying snacks can only seem plausible due to those three things. Fear the black male, and especially, fear the young black male. Look, for as long as you can stomach it, at the breathless agreement that Martin posed a threat to Zimmerman’s life, solely on the basis of Zimmerman’s say-so, and the ephemeral signs of a fight on his face and head. That was no beating. You want to see what a beating looks like, look at the photos of recent victims of gay bashers. But it’s simply an accepted fact in certain quarters of the country that Zimmerman’s life was threatened. Were Martin white it would not matter what the race of his stalker would be, other than if his stalker was a black man he’d already have been convicted and on Florida’s death row. Picture it: a white teenaged boy stalked by a strange man, fights back and is found shot to death. Would anyone doubt the adult male had done something horribly wrong? Why is it never considered, that Martin was standing His ground when Zimmerman confronted him? Well, of course a young black male has no such right. Racism was always at the rotten core of this.
But if Zimmerman was a racist, he was also a vigilante and if you approve of vigilantism anywhere outside the pages of a comic book you are no friend of civilization let alone democracy. All those people waving around the second amendment as a defense against tyranny are no defenders of democracy…if anything they are the useful tools of anarchy. The gun is what you need when the the peace is broken, so the first thing, the basic responsibility of the believers in civilization and democracy is to preserve the peace. That means the rule of law and the ballot box as the agent of change. Peaceful disobedience, where the conscience requires disobedience, and responsibility for ones own conduct toward your neighbors. Responsibility. What a concept, that. Zimmerman acted like the gun came with a badge and they don’t. But more than that, he acted as if he had character enough to bear the wearing of a badge and it’s sickeningly obvious he is no such person.
However this trial turns out, if nothing else this case really raises a lot of questions about the kind of nation we are, or should want to be. So many virtuous moral all-American values types cheering on what Zimmerman did. It’s been a while since I’ve been this completely disgusted. Digby’s right, what would be a just punishment for what Zimmerman did isn’t obvious, but what is staringly obvious is that he did something terribly, horribly wrong. A teenage boy went out for snacks and never came back home, because Zimmerman saw a young black man somewhere he thought a young black man didn’t belong, and took that matter into his own hands.
June 26th, 2013
The Untruth At The Heart Of It
by Bruce |
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“At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife. The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature.”
-Maggie Gallagher, still trying to paint a pretty picture over the untruth at the heart of the anti-gay agenda, that Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex…
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com